As I have said a number of times, I am a huge supporter of Israel, and her right to be a free and independent democracy.
As I was laying in bed the other night, I was trying to come up with a different approach to peace in the region...
There is much tension between Jewish Israel and her Muslim neighbors... there is much tension from the Arab Muslims within the country... friends and neighbors fight one another over religion and territorial boundaries...
Most all of the Palestinians live in squalor, uneducated, without the basic elements of stability: food, water, shelter, and safety.
The Palestinians have no vested interest in a successful Israel... The very existence of Israel means that at any moment their government could bulldoze their home, cut their power, or blockade and starve out their neighborhood.
So my question is this: How do you give the Palestinians something to fight for in Israel, rather than something to fight against?
My answer seemed radical, and I am going to do a LOT more research on this idea. Cursory searches have led to similar ideas, but seemingly for wrong reasons, or with the wrong approach. I will outline my thoughts, and I would love some comments... but keep in mind that this is just very early in the idea process, and there is much research for me to undertake.
My idea is similar to the "one nation" idea... But I want to ensure that Israel maintains it's ability to protect itself from foreign invaders and maintain order.
First I propose one nation: The Confederation of Israel/Palestine. There will be a weak central government in charge of national defense, ensuring resource allocation, maintaining infrastructure, and providing judicial oversight. The confederated central government will consist of One President, and One Prime Minister in the Executive Branch. The President will have control over internal affairs while the PM will have control over foreign affairs. Each will have to work together to ensure commonality for the nation. They will both be selected by the house of commons. 50 regional ministers, similar to congress, will be the legislative branch. There will be one house of commons (not two houses like the US) which consists of 25 members from Israel, 25 members from Palestine. They will have control over finances and laws/regulations, power to enact taxes, etc. The members will be elected by the people. The judicial members will be selected by the president, and certified by the HOC. They will have authority to review cases in the lower courts. This will resemble, in a sense, the structure of the US federal government, however, it will be a weak government, with the rights and powers left to the 2 states. The national capitol would be Jerusalem... a united district, similar to D.C., where neither state has authority over the city. They operate independent of either state.... this mean there is no division of Jerusalem, and both states can declare it their capitol.
Second, I propose the creation of two state governments, one of Israel, one of Palestine. The two state governments will be in charge of local security, police forces, crowd control, local judicial issues, and ensuring the basic rights are being met. They will have the authority to elect governors, and state representatives. They will focus on local commerce, trade, education and interstate relations.
The idea of the confederation was one that may allow the groundwork for distribution of opportunity, eduction, and infrastructure, as well as ensuring equal opportunity for employment, housing, water, and power.
My thought was that if we focus on the establishing and providing the basic elements of survival, food, shelter, and security... then back that with educating the population on the merits of joining in a democratic society, and the importance of ownership of their rights and land... that will provide the basis for peace and prosperity.
I think that if the Palestinians feel that they have equal rights, equal representation, and equal opportunity at a federal level, they will be less likely to want to destroy their own chance for progress. There may still be bitterness between the states, but the federal government would ensure that the regulated militias of each state are not used to attack one another.
That is where I am starting... Like I said, this is just a cursory idea, and I have much research to do. I came up with these ideas based on current relations in the region, current leadership, sentiment, etc... I think it may be possible to approach something like this...
I know one thing is for sure... the two state option leaves Palestine with no food, no money, no power (electricity), and no security. If the arrangements leave them with nothing, why would they be interested in going forward?
(I know that they have been given money, but used it to arm their militia and fight Israel, but they see Israel as the enemy... if we change the playing field, making Israel a partner, perhaps we can change the way the game is played)
Any thoughts? This is a radical idea... so I would love to hear some of your opinions.